What Millennial Women Need To Know About Bone Health

Danielle Omar, MS, RD Calcium and Bone Health Leave a Comment

If you’re here on the Cal-EZ blog, I’m guessing you care about bone health. As I’m sure you know, Calcium and Vitamin D are essential to maximizing bone strength. What many women don’t realize is their bones reach maximum mineral density and strength around age 30. This means your diet (ie what you eat and drink every day) between the critical years of puberty and age 30 is super important to your bone health later in life.

Here’s what you need to know about how our bones are built and broken down, and what you can do to keep them strong and healthy at any age.

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW

  • Your bones are constantly evolving. New bone is being made and old bone is broken down all the time. Think of it like making deposits and withdrawals from your bank account. Up until the age of 30, you have the opportunity to invest in yourself by depositing a lot of calcium into your savings account. Up until age 30, bone is not getting broken down very quickly.
  • You reach peak bone density at age 30. Shortly after your 30th birthday things begin to change. At this age, you’ve just about reached your peak bone mass and maxed out the ability to build up bone density. In keeping with the bank account example, this means your calcium savings account isn’t taking any more new deposits. By the time you turn 30, what you’ve saved up to that point is what will take you into retirement!
  • After age 30, bone breaks down faster than it rebuilds. What’s happening in your body is that your bone begins to break down slightly faster than it gets built up. If you’ve been making the appropriate deposits to your calcium bank, you’re able to prevent your calcium account from dipping too low. Not enough calcium could potentially mean increasing your risk of osteoporosis, bone fractures, and breaks as you age. This is especially important after menopause, when bone-protective estrogen levels begin to drop.  

WHAT YOU CAN DO NOW

Supplementation for women under 30:

Adult women need about 1,000 mg of calcium per day – the amount included in one packet of Cal-EZ. When you’re in your 20’s and your calcium bank account is being depleted at a fairly low rate, getting in at least 1,000 mg helps you build your calcium savings account.

Supplementation for women 30+:

After age 30, you can still prevent your calcium bank account from getting smaller. What you can’t do after this age is increase the amount of calcium in your savings account. So, the more calcium you have saved up before you hit peak bone mass, the better off your bones will be as you age.

If you’re over 30, getting at least 1,000 mg daily helps to replenish the calcium your body is now using up at a quicker rate.

Calcium-rich foods to eat:

In addition to taking a calcium supplement, it’s important to make sure you’re getting calcium from food sources, too. Dairy products are probably the best-known sources of calcium, but it’s found in several other foods as well. Dark leafy greens like kale, spinach, and swiss chard are loaded with calcium, as are other green veggies like broccoli and green beans. Soybeans, which you can eat as edamame or in soy products like tempeh, tofu and soy milk, are great sources as well as white beans and almonds.

Click on the infographic below to learn about other reasons you may need a calcium supplement:

 

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